11035 TUSB7340 chipshot Texas Instruments joins the USB IF certified crowd

It seems like this week is a good week for getting certified by the USB-IF, as following AMD's and Fresco Logic's announcements earlier this week, it's now Texas Instruments time to get no less than two USB 3.0 host controllers certified. TI is also the first company to get a four port USB 3.0 host controller certified and this means that we can look forward to motherboards with even more USB 3.0 ports.

It seems like this week is a good week for getting certified by the USB-IF, as following AMD's and Fresco Logic's announcements earlier this week, it's now Texas Instruments time to get no less than two USB 3.0 host controllers certified. TI is also the first company to get a four port USB 3.0 host controller certified and this means that we can look forward to motherboards with even more USB 3.0 ports.

The two products in question are the TUSB7320 and TUSB7340, the first is a two port host controller and the second is a four port host controller. TI claims to offer a lower BOM (Bill Of Materials) cost than its competitors thanks to no need for an external EEPROM or some type of Flash memory, although at a mere five percent saving this doesn't sound like a huge savingbut on a few million products, it'll surely add up. That said, it looks like TI is set to be very price competitive, at least compared to what Renesas have been asking for its host controllers to date.

11035 TUSB7340 chipshot Texas Instruments joins the USB IF certified crowd

The two port TUSB7320 is said to have a SRP of US$3.50 while the four port TUSB7340 seems to be the much more affordable option at US$4.50, both in quantities of 1,000 units and we'd expect motherboard, notebook and add-in card makers to get even better pricing than this in higher volumes. This will potentially have a huge impact in the uptake of the USB 3.0 standard, as the Renesas host controller that so far has been the most widely used one, due to it being the only USB-IF certified two port solution has had an SRP of about US$4.50-5 and this is part of the reason that we've been stuck with two USB 3.0 ports on most motherboards.

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TI recons it should kick off its volume production by the end of this month and hopefully we should be seeing the first motherboards with TI's new host controllers come Computex. It's been slow progress so far, but with two new USB-IF certified host controller makers in the market, it looks like we're finally starting to see some real competition and on top of that we can look forward to either more affordable USB 3.0 products, or more ports for the same money.

Source: Texas Instruments